Every year, U.S. homeowners spend thousands of dollars repairing damage caused by wood-destroying organisms in the home. Do these four things to reduce the chances of wood-destroying organisms targeting your home.

  • Treat wood before using it.
  • Use wood with similar characteristics—mixing wood can cause you problems.
  • Prevent wood from being exposed to moisture. Most wood borers are attracted to damp wood.
  • Conduct regular pest inspections. It can help you identify the problems before they escalate.

Common Wood-Destroying Organisms In The Home


Wood-destroying beetles come in many species including powder post beetles and wharf borers. They attack wooden structures, especially those that have already been exposed to wood-destroying organisms.

The most common wood destroying beetle is the powder post beetle. They are tiny but destructive insects. They rarely grow past a quarter of an inch which makes them easy to miss. Powder post beetles prefer to attack moist wood and the larvae bore tunnels deep into the wood. When the beetles emerge, they create a powdery by-product.

Wood-Decay Fungi

Most people don’t consider this a significant problem because fungi aren’t insects. If you don’t regularly inspect your home, especially the attic, crawl space, and basement, you are at risk of wood-decay fungi. Any wood that comes into contact with water is conducive to fungi growth. Wood-decay fungi survive on moist wood and cause it to rot, which can compromise the structure of your home. Different kinds of wood-decay fungi cause brown rot, soft rot, and white rot.


Termites are the most well-known wood-destroying organisms. Termites often infest a home for years before getting noticed. Homeowners usually find out about a termite infestation through severe structural damage. Looking out for the signs of termites can save you money by catching a problem early. Mud tubes on the outside of the foundation and piles of termite wings are some clues that you should schedule a pest inspection.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants love hollow places, hidden spots, exposed joints, and crevices. They don’t eat wood as termites do, but they still burrow into wood to create their nests. If unchecked, they can inhabit everything including crevices around windows, hollow doors, and wooden ceilings.

What to do when you suspect wood-destroying organisms in the home:

  • Look around for sources
  • Hire a wood-destroying organism inspector
  • Call a pest remediation company

Lannes Group Real Estate Inspections serves the Greater Chicago area with termite and pest inspections. Contact us if you are worried about wood-destroying organisms.